That the Chennai Marathon, staged on Sunday, ended up being quiet a global affair, had little to do with the event being supported by several international brands. Ismail Ssenyange, a Ugandan national, currently working as a security guard in Dubai, won the full marathon, completing the 42.2-km run in 2.36 hours.
“I am happy that I won with just 2 months of practice,” exclaimed Ssenyange, almost out of breath after the gruelling run around Chennai.
Ismail was among 350 contenders who started off from the wooded IIT Madras campus at 5 am for the full marathon.
Only those who were trained in long-distance running and had practised hard, opted for the long-haul run across half the city, while about 6,000 others competed in the half marathon and shorter runs.
“The last time I participated in a full marathon was way back in 2008 in Uganda. I am glad that I participated in this well organised race and I thank my sponsors, Dubai Creek Striders, for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to the Wipro San Francisco Marathon in June 2013,” Ismail added.
As winner of the Chennai Marathon, he will be invited along with others to run in the San Francisco marathon next year, which would be a major opportunity for the runners.